Unexpected Beauty is one of the greatest sources of Gratitude and the resultant increase in happiness and overall mental health. So, do yourself a favor and make the effort to look up.

Don’t Be a Head Hanger–Lift Up Your Eyes

If you ever get a chance to lift up your eyes to the Grand Tetons I hope you're as blown away as I was
If you ever get a chance to lift up your eyes to the Grand Tetons I hope you’re as blown away as I was (Unsplash image by Toan Chu)

# 13 on my, 99 Life Tips – A List is: In keeping with the above, lift your eyes throughout the day to change your focal point, especially when outdoors. Americans, especially, are ”head hangers” habitually looking a yard or two in front of our feet. We even do this indoors, looking at the flooring. Look up. You’ll thank me.

My uncle taught me this. He pointed it out to me when I was working for him and learning carpentry. Doing a job for a client that wanted us to install 7-pc crown molding in a 20 foot foyer, he remarked that they were wasting their money. When I asked why he said, ”Americans are head hangers.”

He had been raised in Great Britain, and had traveled extensively overseas, including a stint in Vietnam. I figured he knew was he was talking about though it didn’t keep us from taking the job.

I began observing people. My observations confirmed my uncle’s assertion. It was especially obvious, when I watched people enter a new space. And this was apparent whether people walked  into a residence, or into a commercial or religious building. Americans gaze downwards more than upwards. 

Maybe it’s our colonial, puritanical beginnings. There are no real castles or cathedrals marking our national architectural aesthetic. 

Maybe it’s purely evolutionary. Man has never faced too many predators from above. Who knows?

Now, that’s fine if you’re hiking, making sure not to twist an ankle, but it could cause you to miss out on a lot of unexpected Beauty that is above eye level. And that would be a shame because unexpected Beauty is one of the greatest sources of Gratitude and the resultant increase in happiness and overall mental health. So, do yourself a favor and make the effort to look up.

Now, if you prefer your life tips with a moral. Consider Psalm 121:1-2 

”I lift my eyes up, to the mountains, where does my help come from? (some translations are affirmative, and render the last clause, ”from whence comes my help.”)

My help comes from You. Maker of Heaven. Creator of the Earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 

Notice: The Psalmist does not look down in helpless despair. Neither does he look around for help, knowing assistance from peers on his plane won’t suffice. For help, he looks up. He looks to the Mountains, to the Heavens, and to their and his Maker.

1 thought on “Don’t Be a Head Hanger–Lift Up Your Eyes”

  1. Pingback: 99 Life Tips – A List : Greg Proffit Writing

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